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Jeno was officially a senior and he was prepared to make this year his bitch. His split ends were finally gone and he’d made enough money as a lifeguard over the summer to do some serious retail therapy. Their dance studio hired a new choreographer and they were absolutely fucking brilliant. The only thing missing from the picture was the third Plastic.

 

Jaemin flew right over a speed bump, Jeno clutching the door of his BMW, praying that they make it to Renjun’s house in one piece.

 

“Jesus, Jaemin, slow down,” Jeno wheezed. He did not feel like pissing his pants in a brand new pair of killer jeans.

 

Jaemin tugged his sunglasses off and placed them between his teeth. “Dude, I’m totally going the speed limit.”

 

Jeno glanced at his quickly blurring surroundings. “You are totally not.”

 

Jaemin ran a red light and turned onto Renjun’s street in less than a millisecond. He pulled up and started honking obnoxiously.

 

Renjun stuck his head out of the door, varsity letter freshly dry cleaned. “Stop with all that noise! Let me grab my bag!”

 

“Someone’s a monumental bitch today,” Jaemin noted.

 

Jeno looked at him incredulously. “You were honking like a madman, dumbass.”

 

Renjun slid into the car and threw his football stuff onto the floor. He yanked a peach colored tube from his pocket. “Gloss or no gloss?”

 

“I’m wearing gloss today, so no,” Jaemin said. “If you wear it then Jeno has to wear it.”

 

Renjun swiped some on his lips. Jeno turned around dutifully and received a swipe from the tube. It felt sticky.

 

“Cute,” Renjun said. “Hey Jaem, what’s with the black knit sweater? It’s August, love.”

 

“All my black button ups were at the dry cleaner. Does it look stupid?”

 

Jeno patted his shoulder reassuringly. “You look badass, don’t even worry about it.”

 

Jaemin beamed.

 

*

 

Last year, when Mark still drove them to school, he had observed that the trio had strikingly similar characteristics with three characters from Mean Girls .

 

“You guys are like the Plastics. No joke,” He had said.

 

“Hmm, who’s who?” Renjun asked.

 

“You’re Regina,” Mark said. “You eat people for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”

 

“Valid.”

 

“Jeno is Gretchen. He’s like, nice. Kinda.”

 

“Aw, thanks Mark!”

 

“And Jaemin is Karen.”

 

Renjun and Jeno had burst out laughing.

 

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Jaemin whispered.

 

Renjun smoothed down his then pink hair. “Nothing, babe. Nothing bad.”

 

*

Twenty minutes later, the trio were stood in the office.

 

“Need to switch a class today,” Renjun had said in the car.

 

“Do we need to come with?” Jaemin asked.

 

Renjun rolled his eyes. “Yes?”

 

Now, Renjun was talking rapidly to the registrar while Jeno was trying to get a new high score in Subway Surfers.

 

Jaemin poked his arm. “Check it out,” he said. “New kid.”

 

Jeno looked up to see Chenle, treasurer of student council, explaining the layout of the school to a tall lanky kid.

 

“He looks petrified,” Jeno noted. The kid’s hands were shaking as he clutched the map in his fist.

 

Chenle tried to seem inconspicuous as he said, “Those are the Plastics.”

 

“Like the movie?”

 

Jeno giggled softly.

 

“Yes. Renjun is varsity runningback and will literally eat you. Jeno’s nice. Jaemin is uh, Jaemin.”

 

Jisung nodded slowly. “Am I Cady then?”

 

Chenle steered him towards the door. “Hell no, you don’t have the attitude. Get to class.”

 

Jaemin let out a booming laugh as Jisung finally left. “Fuck, I guess our reputation precedes us.”

 

Renjun walked over. “You guys ready?”

 

As Jaemin recounted the story to Renjun, a boy with dark brown hair jogged from the college counseling offices out into the hall. He was pretty, absurdly so, Jeno thought. As he sprinted through the door, a leather bound notebook fell from his open bag.

 

Jeno picked it up, prepared to hand it to him, but he was long gone.

 

“Damn, who’s roadrunner?” Renjun asked. He peered at the notebook in Jeno’s hand. “What’s that?”

 

Jeno shrugged. “He dropped it.”

 

Renjun stretched a hand out. “Let me see.”

 

Jeno scowled and pulled it towards his chest protectively. “No way, you’re gonna use it as blackmail material.”

 

“Renjun doesn’t even blackmail people, Jen. Duh.”

 

“He blackmailed you last week!”

 

Renjun rolled his eyes and smacked his lips. “Fine. I guess somebody wants to be Prince Charming. Whatever, we have Enviro. Let’s go.”

 

With that, the three walked to their first class feeling like top tier biatches.




 

 

 

 

Renjun typically didn’t like to talk about his love life with Jeno or Jaemin, or anyone really, so in order to extract information from him, they had to do so sneakily and slowly.

 

It was lunch and Renjun was calculating how many calories he needed for practice that afternoon when Jaemin cornered him.

 

“So, what’d you think of my pool party on Saturday?” Jaemin asked.

 

Renjun shrugged. “Fucking hype.”

 

Jeno peeled back the lid of his pudding, hoping not to stain his purple button up. “Oh really? Where’d you go during the second half anyway?”

 

Renjun sighed and set his silverware down. Damn. They were caught. Jeno had expected that.

 

What they hadn’t expected was the following words to be said:

 

“I had my tongue down Mark’s throat. Any other questions?”

 

Jaemin choked on a Dorito and began coughing violently.

 

Jeno shrieked. “You did what?”

 

Renjun rolled his eyes. “What? He’s hot.”

 

“He’s my cousin!”

 

“Yeah, your cousin. Not my cousin. Shit’s totally legal.”

 

Jeno sneered. “God, I hope you get mono.”

 

Renjun flipped him off. Jaemin was still trying to cough up Dorito dust.






 

 

Jeno was still thinking of the cutie from earlier when he walked into his last period class, Calculus. He slid into his seat absentmindedly, brain running through a list of people that could possibly know him. Let’s see, there was Eric in student council, Sunwoo from AP English IV…

 

The person behind him tapped his shoulder. Speak of the devil,

 

“Hey! You’re the cutie from earlier!”

 

The boy lifted a brow in amusement. “Oh? We’ve met?”

 

Jeno laughed and turned up the charm. “Well no, duh. But I saw you this morning! You’re a fast runner.”

 

“Hmm. Thank you.”

 

Jeno reached into his bag and retrieved the notebook. “You dropped this, by the way. I totally didn’t read anything.”

 

The boy took it from his hands, laughing softly. “I didn’t think you did. Thanks for holding onto it.”

 

Jeno beamed. This boy was so cute!

 

“My name is Jeno. If you wanted to know or anything.”

 

“Yeah, I know. I’m Donghyuck. If you wanted to know or anything.” He tilted his head and fucking winked.

 

The teacher walked in then and syllabi were passed down the rows. Jeno scribbled out a message on the top syllabi before passing the stack of papers back.

 

Donghyuck leaned forward a few minutes later and whispered, “You think I’m gonna add you on Snapchat?”

 

Jeno kept his eyes focused on the board. “Please?”

 

He laughed and Jeno felt his heart sink in disappointment. Damn.

 

Suddenly, he felt a marker tip pressed at the back of his neck.

 

“What the fuck are you doing?” Jeno rushed out.

 

Donghyuck giggled. “Writing my number.”

 

“You couldn’t scribble it on a piece of paper? I could get ink poisoning.”

 

Donghyuck finished writing and Jeno felt the ink dry on his neck.

 

He leaned forward again, warm breath tickling Jeno’s ear. “Eh. Plastics make it work don’t they?”




 

 

“Jaemin, just read the numbers out.”

 

“But I can’t tell if it’s a seven or a one.”

 

Jeno rubbed his eyes. “If it looks anything like a seven it’s probably a seven.”

 

“Ooh, valid.”

 

Renjun ran up to the stands in between drills, equipment dwarfing his figure. “What are you two idiots doing?”

 

“A cute boy wrote his number on my neck and I can’t read it. Neither can Jaemin apparently.”

 

Jaemin punched his back. “Now I’m not gonna read it at all. Ha.”

 

Renjun grimaced. He looked so disappointed. “Who wrote it again?”

 

“Donghyuck! You don’t know him.”

 

Renjun gasped. “Fuck you, yes I do. Does he have brown hair? Really nice skin?”

 

“Yes…”

 

“He’s in Mark’s band, you idiot. He’s the new guitarist he kept talking about.”

 

Jeno tried to recall any conversation he had with Mark about his band. Nothing rang a bell.

 

“Damn, it’s empty up here. Sorry I don’t remember.”

 

Jaemin sighed and brushed Jeno’s hair back. “Why am I Karen again?”

 

*

 

[9:08 P.M.] Jeno

heyyyy mark my favorite cousin

 

[9:10 P.M.] Mark

how much money do u need

 

[9:11 P.M.] Jeno

uh none?

but since when do u have a band

 

[9:15 P.M.] Mark

since junior year???

lol did u really not know

 

[9:16 P.M.] Jeno

uh doesn’t matter

anyway can we come watch you guys practice

 

[9:17 P.M.] Mark

does we include renjun?

 

Read: 9:20 P.M.

 

*

 

Jeno lifted the door to Mark’s garage on Saturday morning and was met with the sight of his cousin trying to do a handstand as Lucas timed him.

 

Renjun tsked and collapsed on the band’s nasty green couch. “I can’t believe I made out with an idiot.”

 

Mark crumpled at the sound of Renjun’s voice. “Renjun!” He scrambled to stand. “Hey. What’s up?”

 

Renjun scoffed and scrolled through his phone. “Not happening twice, Lee.”

 

Mark grimaced. “Oh yeah. Totally.”

 

Jaemin attempted to console him. “Keep your chin up, Mark.”

 

“Are we gonna practice or what?”

 

Donghyuck was ready with his guitar, fingers poised to play over the strings. He caught Jeno staring and smiled. Jeno sat next to Renjun on the couch, in shock.

 

“Donghyuck is trying to give me a heart attack,” He whispered.

 

Renjun shoved his head over. “Quit yapping. I wanna hear the music.”

 

The band did a run through of three songs before calling for a break. Mark and Donghyuck’s voices blended beautifully and Yukhei totally killed it on the drums.

 

“Holy shit,” Jeno breathed out. “You guys are fucking awesome!”

 

“Aw, thanks Jeno!” Mark squealed. “My mom made cookies last night. Who wants to raid the kitchen with me?”

 

Renjun and Lucas followed Mark into the house. Jaemin remained seated on a stool, blissfully unaware.

 

“Hey, Na!” Renjun shouted from the doorway. “Bring your ass inside!”

 

Jaemin looked between Jeno and Donghyuck, lips parting in realization. He slipped his sunglasses on and adjusted his leather jacket before giving a peace sign and heading inside.

 

Donghyuck sat next to Jeno on the couch, wrinkled sweatpants touching ripped jeans.

 

“Did you like the songs?” He asked thoughtfully.

 

“Oh my god I loved them.”

 

Donghyuck fiddled with the buckle of his notebook. “Thanks. I, uh, wrote them myself.”

 

Jeno’s mouth opened in shock. “Whoa, you’re super talented.”

 

Donghyuck covered his face in embarrassment. “I’m really not. I just write about stuff I know.”

 

Jeno propped his head on his hand. “Like what?”

 

“Like, uh, people that I’ve liked. Well a person, really.”

 

“Liked? Did it not end well?”

 

Donghyuck shook his head. “Nah, nothing like that. I just realized I didn’t have a chance? Anyway, I wanted to move on.”

 

Jeno nodded in understanding. “I get that. After I met Lucas the first time, I was in love for like, a week. So painful.”

 

Donghyuck stared in disbelief before laughing. “Do you come up with this stuff on your own?”

 

“Mostly, yes.”

 

“Do you wanna see Mark’s notebook where he writes lyrics about Renjun?”

 

Jeno didn’t need to be asked twice.

 

*

 

“Jaemin, I appreciate you driving me, but you don’t need to stay for all four hours of my rehearsal. Seriously.”

 

Jaemin shrugged from his corner of the studio. “I like watching you dance.”

 

“Okay well, you’re not really blending in with your Wednesday Addams get-up.” His friend was wearing a black leather jacket, a black tunic, black cuffed jeans, and his sunglasses.

 

“I look cute,” He mumbled around his lollipop.

 

Jeno nodded. “Of course, no doubt! But you need to leave.”

 

“Why can’t he stay?” The new kid from the office looked perplexed as he assessed the situation. “He won’t bother us.”

 

“Wait a second, who are you again?”

 

The friendly giant stick his hand out. Jeno didn’t shake it. “I’m Jisung. I’m new here. You’re Jeno, right?” He pointed to Jaemin. “And Jaemin?”

 

Jaemin smiled and tugged his lollipop from his mouth. “Hi Jisung! It’s nice to meet you!”

 

“Since when are you in this class?” Jeno didn’t remembering seeing any more than the usual number a few nights ago.

 

“Since this morning. I think it’d be cool if we had an audience.” Jisung remarked.

 

“Hey, listen kid-“

 

Jaemin stood. “Hey, I’ll leave, it’s cool.” He patted Jisung’s cheek, once, then twice. “Thanks for standing up for me, kiddo. I’ll see you around.”

 

Jisung’s face was red for the entire four hours.

 

*

 

One of the things on Jeno’s Guide to Making this Year his Bitch, was hosting a sick party after the first home game of the season. Read as: Renjun and Jaemin doing all the planning and his house is the location.

 

Their school had won the game thanks to Renjun running nearly every play, and everyone was in good spirits.

 

Jaemin snapped a Dorito between his teeth. “Look. The baby’s here.”

 

Jisung had arrived with Chenle and was currently taking everything in, overwhelmed by all the noises and scents.

 

“You should totally go talk to him,” Renjun said. “Go get a baby boyfriend.”

 

“Is that supposed to be insulting?” Jaemin asked Jeno.

 

“Absolutely not. I mean, Renjun is Mark’s baby boyfriend.”

 

“Watch it, Lee.”

 

Jaemin fixed his black blouse and slipped his sunglasses on. “Okay. I’m gonna go talk to him. Later guys!”

 

After watching Renjun reject at least ten people in five minutes, Jeno’s phone buzzed.

 

[10:34 P.M.] Donghyuck

ngl ur party is kinda lame

the only interesting thing is jaemin making out with a junior

yeesh

anyway I’ll probably head to the park and write

meet me there in five

if you want

 

Jeno pocketed his phone and weighed his options. He could a) get secondhand smoke from standing in this kitchen or b) go to the park with the love of his life and listen to him talk about his music. He bolted to his room.

 

“Ah!” He screamed when he opened the door. “Go make out with your baby boyfriend in another room!”

 

Jaemin wiped his mouth, annoyed. “They’re all locked. Why are you up here anyway?”

 

Jeno threw shirts everywhere as he tried to find his blue sweater that made him look smart. Aha! He found it.

 

“Meeting Donghyuck. At park,” he mumbled as he tugged it on.

 

“Oh, okay. Well pop your contacts out and wear your glasses.”

 

Jeno blew an air kiss at his best friend and started digging in his eyes. “Toss me those glasses,” He said to a blushing Jisung.

 

He checked himself in the mirror and caught sight of cracked lips. Geez.

 

“I gotcha, king,” Jaemin said as he swiped strawberry chapstick on. “Pop. Perfect.”

 

“I actually look good?”

 

“An absolute ten, Jen.”






 

 

 

“You wear glasses?” Was the first thing Donghyuck said

when Jeno crawled into the playground structure.

 

“Uh, yeah. My eyesight is really bad.” He had gotten glasses in elementary school after three months of Renjun reading out the sentences on the board for him.

 

Donghyuck tapped the frames. “You look cute.” He flipped to a nearly blank page in his notebook. “Wanna hear what I have so far?”

 

Jeno nodded so hard his head nearly fell off.

 

“Okay. Don’t laugh please.”

 

Jeno placed a hand on his knee. “I’d never.”

 

Donghyuck took a deep breath before starting.

 

“And the issue on the table is this, everyone’s a fan, and I never thought you’d give a damn, and I never dreamed of crossing paths, spent so long writing up fantasies, and now the real fucking thing is in front of me.”

 

Donghyuck shut the notebook immediately after that. “Needs work, huh?”

 

Jeno was speechless. It sounded so emotional . “What do you mean it needs work? I thought it was perfect.”

 

Donghyuck laughed softly. “You’re only saying that because you like me.”

 

Okay, that was only partially true. “I mean yeah, I like you, but I really do think the lyrics are good.”

 

“Mark will probably veto it,” Donghyuck said dejectedly. “He said he’s sick of singing love songs.”

 

Jeno began to think of different ways to murder his cousin. “If he vetoes it I’ll kill him. I mean it.”

 

Donghyuck lifted up Jeno’s skinny arm. “All talk and no muscle? My hero.”

 

Jeno snatched his skinny arm back. Rude.

 

“Who’d you write that about anyway?”

 

It was dark, so Jeno couldn’t really see his face when he said, “Are you fucking kidding me?”

 

“No?”

 

Donghyuck just leaned on his shoulder and sighed. His hair smelled like lemons! “Never mind. It’s not important.”

 

*

 

“Okay, so before you interrogate me, yes, Mark and I did make out again,” Renjun said during lunch the following Monday.

 

Jeno gagged. “Dude, we’re eating.” He yanked at Renjun’s orange turtleneck. “Besides, we already figured that out.”

 

Jaemin groaned. “Just date him, please .”

 

Renjun waved the thought away. “No way in hell. I am not dating another college guy.”

 

Jaemin and Jeno glanced at each other before, “Another?”

 

Renjun’s eyes went wide. “Um.”

 

Jeno placed his hands over his ears. “La la la la la! I don’t wanna know!”

 

“Stop it. Fine, I won’t tell.” He took a gulp from his water bottle. “But when are you asking Donghyuck out?”

 

Jeno paused. Sure, he’d thought about asking him out, but every time the words formed in his head, they disappeared as soon as he saw him. Which was totally unlike him, because normal Jeno was really confident. This was not normal Jeno.

 

“He scares me,” Jeno admitted. “He’s very collected.”

 

“Wimp,” Jaemin whispered.

 

“Say it to my face, Na.”

 

“Hey,” Renjun snapped his fingers. “Knock it off.” He turned to Jeno. “What do you mean collected ?

 

“Like, he says things that make sense.”

 

“So the opposite of you?”

 

“You’ve got one more time, Na.”

 

“Guys,” Renjun pleaded. “Be serious. What did he say?”

 

Jeno recalled the lyrics read to him on Friday night. “He’s like, writing this song about unrequited love I think? But then the person in the song like finally catches the attention of their crush and they can’t believe it. I’m pretty sure that’s what it’s about.”

 

Renjun frowned. “It’s probably about you.”

 

Jeno laughed in disbelief. “Me? Someone writing a song about me?”

 

“I mean, think what you want,” Renjun said. “But I’m thinking Donghyuck has liked you longer than you’ve liked him.”




 

 

 

 

Jeno watched Jisung stretch for a couple of minutes before deciding to bother him. His love life seemed to be going well.

 

“Hey, Jisung,” Jeno greeted. Jisung narrowed his eyes.

 

“What do you want?”

 

“You and Jaemin are dating right?” Jaemin hadn’t mentioned it but it kinda seemed like they were.

 

“No,” Jisung drew it slowly. “We have a date on Friday, though.”

 

“How’d you ask him out?”

 

“Um, I didn’t? He just texted me on Sunday and was like, ‘don’t forget our date is on Friday’ and I kinda went with it.”

 

Ugh. Jaemin was too good.

 

“Hey,” Jisung started. “Don’t stress about asking anyone out. You’re pretty much good at everything and super hot. Anyone would be lucky to go out with you.”

 

Jeno cooed. “The baby is so wise!”

 

Their choreographer, Ten, walked in before Jisung could throttle him. Jeno considered it a win.

 

*

Renjun refused to go to the next band rehearsal without bringing food.

 

“It’s just polite,” He said as he cradled a Tupperware container full of brownies.

 

Jeno lifted the garage door. “Uh-huh.”

 

“The groupies are here,” Lucas joked.

 

Renjun glared. “I am no one’s groupie.”

 

Lucas pointed his drumsticks at Renjun. “Whatever you say dude.”

 

They played the three songs they’d rehearsed last week, but with significant improvement. Mark’s enunciation was a lot clearer, Lucas didn’t flop his arms around as much, and Donghyuck finally looked up at their audience.

 

“How was that?” Mark asked.

 

“Better than last week,” Jeno admitted.

 

“Do you think they’ll let us play homecoming?” Mark asked Jaemin.

 

Jaemin, head of the homecoming committee, shrugged. “I dunno. I’ll have to ask the administration.”

 

“I just wanna play live. I’m sick of this garage,” Donghyuck muttered.

 

“Okay,” Jaemin said. “I’ll look into it. Send me the recordings of some of your songs and I’ll ask Monday.”

 

Donghyuck popped open the lid to the container of brownies. “Ugh, I’m starving.”

 

Renjun slapped his hand away. “Those are not for you.”

 

Donghyuck pouted and Jeno kissed his hand. “So much for being polite.”

 

“Are those for me?” Mark asked. Renjun blushed a deep red.

 

“Just take them inside,” He mumbled. Mark hid a smile.

 

“Are you still hungry?” Jeno asked Donghyuck. He nodded. “Wanna pick up a pizza for lunch? There’s a Donatos down the street.”

 

Please,” Lucas begged. “I’m fucking starving.”

 

Jeno stood and grabbed Donghyuck’s hand dramatically. “Off we go, my liege.”




 

 

 

“You dance right?” Donghyuck asked after Jeno placed their order.

 

“Yep! I’ve been dancing since I was little. Why?”

 

“Is it fun?”

 

Jeno was growing suspicious. “Yeah, lots. Why?”

 

“Can you teach me one day?” Donghyuck asked shyly.

 

Jeno felt like he was floating. He fumbled for his phone and pressed shuffle on his music.

 

“I don’t have to teach you,” He said. “You just gotta feel the music.”

 

Donghyuck looked around. “Jeno, we’re in a Donatos!”

 

Jeno shrugged and started grooving to My Heart Will Go On . “So?” He took Donghyuck’s hand and led him into an involuntary twirl. “Music just calls, ya know?”

 

“You are so embarrassing.”

 

Jeno dipped him as Celine hit a particularly high note. “Just loosen up a little.”

 

Donghyuck started up at him, eyes wide. “Okay.”

 

The two began slow dancing with Jeno doing elaborate spins ever so often.

 

“Do you always dance in public spaces?” Donghyuck asked, breathless. His cheeks were flushed from laughter and his hair was so, so messy. Jeno was ecstatic.

 

“Hmm, not always. I’d dance anywhere with you, though.”

 

“God, you’re so corny. I hate you.” The song stopped and they just stared at each other, feeling weightless.

 

The employee at the counter tapped the bell. “Your order has been ready for awhile but you guys looked so cute!”

 

Jeno grinned. “Thanks, uh… Johnny.”

 

He slid the boxes over. “Stay in love kids!”





 

 

 

(When they got back to the garage, Lucas was laying face down on the rug.

 

Jeno kicked him. He twitched. “What’s up with him?”

 

Jaemin looked up from his nail art. “He’s hungry.”

 

Jeno noticed the absence of two annoying assholes. “Where’s Benedick and Beatrice?”

 

Jaemin sighed. “That’s a stupid question, Jeno.”

 

“Valid.”)


*

 

“Does this shade suit me?” Jaemin held black painted nails up during first period Enviro. Renjun was at home sick.

 

“I feel horrible,” He had wailed over the phone a few hours ago.

 

“Is it mono?” Jeno had asked.

 

“Get fucked, Jeno.” And then he had hung up.

 

Jeno inspected the nails carefully. “I dunno. How many shades of black are there?”

 

Jaemin rolled his eyes. “At least three. Duh.”

 

“You should just ask your baby boyfriend what he thinks.”

 

Jaemin blushed. “Okay. I’ll ask him later.”

 

“Later? Jaemin we’re going shopping later. I desperately need this one jacket at Nordstrom.” It was a teal bomber jacket and Jeno knew that no one else could possibly wear it better than him.

 

Jaemin shrugged and turned his attention to the PowerPoint. “Then he’s coming with us. Donghyuck can come too if your feelings are that hurt.”

 

“Fine. But remember that shopping is a Plastics only event from now on.”






 

 

 

Donghyuck sorted through the jackets on the rack as Jeno moved rapidly from section to section searching for the teal piece of clothing. “Why do you need this jacket again?”

 

Jeno looked up from a red cardigan population. “Because I’ll look kickass in it. Duh.”

 

Donghyuck held up a hanger with the exact jacket. “Is this it?”

 

Jeno leapt across the sales floor and made grabby hands. “Give it.”

 

“Geez, you’re like a bloodhound. Here, take it.” He tossed it into the air and Jeno snatched it up. He could cry. It was perfect.  

 

“I’m gonna go try it on,” He announced before marching to the dressing room. Jaemin was already there, posing in front of the lit up mirror.

 

“Hey, Jen, do these jeans make my ass look big?” He twisted in a pair of black jeans. Jisung covered his face.

 

“Nothing could make your ass look big, Jaemin.” That earned him a kick in the shin.

 

Two minutes later he had the jacket on and felt like crying. Damn , he thought. He looked amazing.

 

“Shit,” Donghyuck said when he walked out. “Maybe you were onto something with that jacket.”

 

“I look good?”

 

“Jeno stop fishing for compliments. You always look good. Like last year when-“ He stopped himself abruptly.

 

Jeno narrowed his eyes. “Last year when I what?”

 

“Nothing.”

 

Jeno walked closer. “No, you said something .”

 

Donghyuck laughed nervously. “Jisung did I say something?”

 

Jisung nodded. “Yeah, you definitely did.”

 

“I heard it too!” Jaemin yelled from his fitting room.

 

Donghyuck sighed and mumbled, “Like last year when you dressed like Tom Cruise in Top Gun .”

 

“You remember that? You paid attention to me?” Jeno was reeling. He had spent hours preparing that costume and had even stolen a pair of Jaemin’s sunglasses. He thought the only people that remembered it were Mark, Renjun, and Jaemin.

 

“Everyone pays attention to you! You’re Jeno! The second Plastic! You only pay attention to stuff in your immediate peripheral.” With that Donghyuck stormed out. Jeno watched him leave, wounded.

 

Jaemin peeked out from his fitting room. “Does that make me the third Plastic?”

 

*

“He totally just, stormed out,” Jeno mumbled against his pillow. Right now, he was on Group FaceTime with Renjun and Jaemin recounting his heartbreak.

 

“I told you he had liked you longer. Listen to me more, please,” Renjun said. He took a sip from his thermos.

 

“Wait, did Jeno not know that?” Jaemin asked. He pushed his sunglasses up from his eyes. “Do you even pay attention to the lyrics when they sing?”

 

“Yeah but… I thought they were about someone else.”

 

Renjun looked directly at the camera. “He wrote that one song like, a week ago. Who else would it be about?”

 

“My brain shuts off when I’m around him. It goes zooooosh .”

 

“Ew. I have an essay to write. Just talk to him tomorrow,” Renjun said then hung up.

 

“I gotta go too,” Jaemin said apologetically. “Jisung needs help with AP Art History. Keep your chin up, Jen!”

 

Jeno stared at his blank laptop screen then over to his desk. His new jacket hung off the desk chair. It didn’t look so cute anymore.

 

*

 

As soon as Donghyuck saw Jeno walk into Calculus the next day, he gathered up his things and moved seats. Jeno raced to sit in the desk next to him.

 

“I don’t feel like talking right now,” Donghyuck said as he flipped through his notes.

 

Jeno snatched the papers from his hand. “Please.”

 

Donghyuck snatched them back, annoyed now. “We have a test in three minutes. We can talk later, okay?”

 

Jeno nodded. The teacher handed out the tests and Jeno stared blankly at the first page. He knew this stuff. Sure, he didn’t have a ton of common sense, but he was a genius in the classroom.

 

“Fuck,” He whispered as he struggled to start the first problem.

 

“My number,” Donghyuck whispered as he moved through his test.

 

His number? His number, his number, his number… Oh! The teacher had taught this the same day Donghyuck had written his number on his neck. He tried to envision the numbers on the screen and they materialized in his brain automatically.

 

He and Donghyuck finished just as the bell rang.

 

“Thanks,” Jeno said while packing up. “For the hint back there.”

 

“Hmm. I’m going to the park. You can come if you want,” He said then left.



 

 

 

Jeno crawled inside the playground structure. “Hey.”

 

Donghyuck closed his notebook. “Hey.”

 

“Can you tell me what’s going on please?”

 

Donghyuck fiddled with his hoodie strings. “I liked you for awhile.”

 

“How long is awhile?”

 

“Like three years?”

 

Jeno nearly fell backwards. Three years? “Dude, that’s the entire time we’ve been in high school. Why didn’t you say anything?”

 

Donghyuck laughed bitterly. “You always have people surrounding you. I didn’t even think I’d get to talk to you at all before graduating.”

 

Jeno intertwined their hands. “I’m sorry I seemed unapproachable. Really. I wouldn’t have been mean. I promise.”

 

Donghyuck rubbed his thumb across the back of Jeno’s hand in soothing circles. “Well, duh, I know that now.”

 

“I can’t believe you wrote a song about me though! That’s so cool!”

 

“You idiot, all of my songs are about you.”

 

Jeno placed a hand over his heart. “Ah geez, I’m flattered.”

 

Donghyuck shoved him onto the mulch. “Idiot,” he muttered as Jeno fell.

 

“I still think you’re cute!”

 

*

 

“Good news,” Jaemin announced a few Saturdays later. “You guys can play at homecoming!”

 

Donghyuck stopped running his hands through Jeno’s head and shoved him off of his lap. Jeno hissed. “Are you serious?”

 

“Yep! I got it cleared yesterday afternoon. You guys will have to play for free though.”

 

Mark tackled Jaemin into a hug. “I literally don’t care about the money. Thanks, Jaem.”

 

“No problem. I like the music you guys play.”

 

Jeno looked up at his boyfriend. “You’re gonna look so dope on stage.”

 

“You think so?” Jeno nodded. “Wish I had a date though.”

 

Jeno’s eyes widened. Homecoming was next Saturday and he hadn’t asked Donghyuck yet.

 

He morphed his hands into finger guns. “Working on it!”




 

 

 

 

The cheers of the pep rally were deafening as each player ran out to the middle of the gym. Jeno stood off to the side, waiting on his cue. The football players sat down after a short speech and Renjun gave him the signal. It was showtime.

 

The opening notes of Me Gustas Tu filtered into the gym and Jeno dove into the choreography, mic in hand. “Donghyuck! Will you go to hoco with me?” The last part came out kind of breathless. It was hard to talk and dance at the same time. He didn’t know how GFRIEND did it.

 

Students started pointed to Donghyuck in the third row. He was a blushing mess. Jeno ran over and handed him the mic.

 

“You’re so embarrassing,” He said. He was grinning though. “Of course I’ll go to homecoming with you,” He said into the mic.

 

The gym erupted in applause. Donghyuck kissed him right in front of everyone, and oh yeah, senior year was definitely his bitch.